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You don’t have to be constantly on the road in order to earn points and miles for your favorite loyalty program. There are plenty of ways to earn through actions you complete every single day. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure you’re reaping points and miles when you dine out. Here’s how you can go about it.
Join A Dining Program
Lots of loyalty programs have separate dining programs for their members. You may not even be aware of them. In many cases, these dining programs aren’t heavily marketed to members which means you might not even know they’re available to you.
Even though they sometimes require a separate signup than when you signed up for your overall loyalty program membership, they’re relatively easy to use. Plus, they’re usually free to join.
Hilton Honors Dining
Some of the most popular dining programs are those that are connected to the major U.S. airlines and hotel chains. Hilton’s dining program is called Hilton Honors Dining. New signees receive a special 1,000 bonus points for their first restaurant visit.
The rest of the time, they earn eight bonus points per $1 when dining 11 or more times in a year and subscribe to email notifications from the program. They can also earn five bonus points per $1 when they dine 10 or fewer times in a year and opt-in for email notifications. Alternatively, they’ll earn two points per $1 when doing any of the above but don’t opt in for those notifications.
Considering how easy it is to dine out more than 11 times in a year, the eight points per $1 is attainable.
United’s dining program, MileagePlus Dining, is similar. You earn up to 2,500 bonus award miles just for signing up and dining within 30 days. Then, you earn 1 mile per $2 spent if you’re a basic member; 3 miles per $1 spent if you’re a Select member; and 5 miles per $1 spent if you’re a VIP member.
Select members are those that have elected to receive email notifications. VIP members are those that receive email notifications and have dined out more than 11 times in a year.
Other dining programs include those offered by Alaska, Delta, Southwest, and American. Don’t see your favorite loyalty program on the list? Make sure you dig a little deeper into your loyalty program to see if a separate dining program exists.
Signup For A Dining Friendly Credit Card
There are plenty of credit cards out there that offer miles and points earning potential when it comes to dining. But knowing which ones to consider can be tricky. You don’t want to sign up for a card that promises plenty of earnings for dining out, just to find out that you can’t transfer the points earned or cash back to your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card is a good choice to consider for dining out. You earn three points per every $1 spent on dining. Then you can redeem your points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, if you’re turned off by this card’s large annual fee of $550, its sister card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, gives you two points per $1 spent on dining for only $95 per year.
Similarly, the American Express® Gold Card gives you four points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and deliveries. You can redeem your points for travel via the American Express travel booking portal.
If you want to dine out to earn points for hotel stays versus miles for flights, the Hilton Honors Aspire card is a good option. You can earn seven Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.